We Interview Blood & Gourd Writer Jenz Lund

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 Jenz Lund

It is National Pumpkin Day today. What better way to celebrate it than an interview with a writer whose comic is about human eating pumpkins?

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of meeting Jenz Lund via social media and email and had a chance to read and review Blood & Gourd #1 & #2. As far as Indie horror comics go, it’s been one of my favourite series in the genre. Jenz and the entire creative team on Blood & Gourd are now celebrating the release of issue #1 on the industries biggest digital comics platform Comixology. Blood & Gourd #1 is co-written with D.H Shultis, penciled Dave Acosta, Inked by Juan Albarran, coloured by Fran Gamboa and lettered by JC Ruiz. The cover is by  Juanan Ramirez.

Blood & Gourd Summary:

It’s Devil’s Night in Olympia, WA- and out at Henderson Farms, the festivities are reaching a crescendo. Young and old have gathered to pick their own pumpkin, drink hot apple cider, and partake in the usual pumpkin farm fare. However, something has awakened from deep within the fertile soil. After years of abuse and humiliation, the pumpkins… are ready to pick us. You can beg! You can plead! You can scream! But these Hell’s lanterns are lit only with the burning desire to watch. You. Die!

Jenz Lund took the time to talk to me about the process of creating  Blood & Gourd and their recent milestone.

 

How did blood and Gourd come together regarding the story and the creative team?

D.H. (Shultis) and I are life-long horror fans. We were getting bored with contemporary horror films. There was too much bleakness and dreariness. If it wasn’t torture-porn, then it was a goddamn remake. We got tired of listening to each other complain about it, so we started writing our own script. We wanted to write something fun and colourful. We set out to capture the excitement we had as kids watching movies like The Return of the Living Dead, Night of the Creeps, Creepshow and Gremlins. We spent a few years working on the script, then about three years ago, we started shopping it around. Making a movie wasn’t going to happen, so we decided to make a comic instead. Dave Acosta, who had previously worked for Dynamite(Entertainment), put us in touch with other industry professionals, and in about a year’s time, we had our first issue.

Many people don’t realise how hard it is creating a comic then haveing to get the word out and sell it once it’s done. Was the process for Blood & Gourd #1 to become a comic what you expected it to be?

It was a lot harder than we expected it to be. First, you need an artist with a good work ethic — there’s an old saying that goes: You may get the first five pages, but will you get the LAST five pages? — and second, you want them to be interested enough to not just ‘phone it in’. Next, you hire an inker, a flatter, a colorist, a letterer, and then get whoever knows what they’re doing to proof it. Lucky for us, the feedback was pretty positive even before the comic was finished. We did what we set out to do, and that was a huge morale boost after working on the project for a year straight. I’d say the biggest surprise is the lack of exposure and cost of production. We’ve had to hustle and sell our asses off, and even that has its limitations. We’re making progress, though. The fans (we call them stem-heads) make it all worthwhile. Most people who read the comic tell us to keep making it, and that’s what matters most.

You mentioned that Blood & Gourd was originally intended to be a movie. Out of all the mediums to choose from to tell your story what made you decide to go with comic books?

We wanted to show something fresh, fun, and colourful. That connection to EC Comics (and just horror comics in general) made our decision pretty simple.

Issue #1 of Blood and Gourd is going to be released on Comixology just before Halloween. Did you go through the Comixology Submit method or did you have a contact at comixology that helped you out?

We had to go through the submission process, and that took a few months. In fact, they told us we wouldn’t have our comic ready by Halloween. We’re guessing the pumpkin gods intervened, because about a week ago we received confirmation about an October 26th release date. Signs and wonders.

For those interested or concerned about submitting a comic to comixology, how was easy or hard was the process?

It wasn’t a difficult process; there’s just no guarantee you’ll be accepted. Some people wait half a year to find out. We’re hoping this opens a lot more doors to us. Especially across the sea. The cost of shipping overseas is brutal to a small business.
What does the future look like for the Blood & Gourd series?
Well, a lot of what happens next will come down to sales. We’re very excited about the script for Issue #3, but it won’t be made unless we’re successful with #2. Hopefully, sales go well enough to keep us churning out comics. We may also be in the early stages of a Blood & Gourd film. We’ll keep you posted!

That’s awesome to hear! Do you have any other projects in the works?

D.H. and I have a pretty epic sci-fi story we’ve been writing, off and on, for the past few years. He also has a sci-fi solo project in the works. I’ve been working on Traces of Gnomes. It’s about gnomes on cats fighting trolls on rats during the Black Death. We’ll see if I can actually pull off a children’s story!

 

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If you are curious about Blood & Gourd, check out my review of issue # 1 here and issue 2 here.

If you are already sold on the concept of Blood & Gourd, you can purchase print versions of issues #1 and #2 here

You can purchase the digital versions of both issues here

For those who just want the digital version of issue #1 on Comixology click here

 

 

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